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Indian J Med Sci. 2008 Feb;62(2):45-54.

Epidemiological correlates of nutritional anemia among children (6-35 months) in rural Wardha, Central India.

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  • 1Dr. Sushila Nayar School of Public Health, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sewagram, India.



Nutritional anemia is associated with impaired performance of a range of mental and physical functions in children, along with increased morbidity. Iron supplementation at a later age may not reverse the adverse effects. National Nutritional Anemia Control Program was launched in India in 1970, but it failed to make any impact. The present study was undertaken to find out prevalence of anemia and its correlates in rural Wardha in children 6-35 months of age.


Seven hundred seventy-two children between 6 months and 35 months of age were studied for anemia by cluster-sampling method. The hemoglobin was estimated in the child by 'Filter paper cyanmethemoglobin method.' Pre-designed and pre-tested questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographic and other variables. Data was analyzed by SPSS 12.0.1.


Mean hemoglobin level was 98.5+/-12.9 gm/L. Prevalence of anemia was 80.3%. Only 1.3% children had severe anemia (hemoglobin<70 gm/L). The univariate analysis showed that anemia is significantly associated with age of the child, education of mother and father, occupation of father, socioeconomic status, birth order and nutritional status as measured by weight for age. The final model suggested that only educational status of the mother, occupation of the father, birth order and nutritional status of the child were significantly associated with anemia.


For short-term impact, appropriate nutritional interventions remain the only operational intervention as only the nutritional status (weight for age) is a modifiable factor. But for long-term sustained impact, policy makers need to focus on improving maternal education and reducing family size.

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